South Dakota Provides Mosquito Control Chemicals

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The state has distributed $200,000 worth of mosquito control chemicals to 177 city, county and tribal programs across South Dakota, a state health official said today.

“Since WNV first hit South Dakota, local communities have done a good job establishing control programs and we’re pleased to have been a part of helping set up those programs. The state has awarded more than $3.3 million in matching grants to local programs since 2004,” said Secretary of Health Doneen Hollingsworth. “When we first started these grants, there were only a handful of mosquito control programs. Now there are well-established programs in many communities across the state.”

The grant packages were valued at approximately $1,100 each and included ULV adulticide, a larvacide, and either additional larvacide or a barrier treatment chemical. In addition to the chemical awards, Hollingsworth said the department will continue to do surveillance and laboratory testing for West Nile virus as it has in previous years. She urged South Dakotans to protect themselves from WNV with the following precautions:

· Use mosquito repellent (DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535) and limit exposure by wearing appropriate clothes.

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· Limit time outdoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.

· Eliminate places where mosquitoes breed – get rid of old tires and other containers that accumulate water; regularly change water in bird baths and outside pet dishes; and drain water from flower pots and other garden containers.

“Even the most effective control program can’t eliminate every mosquito,” said Hollingsworth. “That’s why we all need to take personal responsibility to protect ourselves by using repellent and limiting our time outside when mosquitoes are active.”

South Dakota has reported more than 1,700 cases and 26 deaths since its first case of human WNV in 2002. While peak transmission in South Dakota occurs from July through early September, cases have also been reported in early June.

Elderly persons, pregnant women, diabetics, transplant patients, individuals with high blood pressure, and those with a history of alcohol abuse should be especially mindful to take precautions. People with a severe or unusual headache should see their physician.

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